A decade ago a handful of women interested in painting gathered at Joan Curran’s Southold studio. A classically trained painter, Ms. Curran acted as the group’s mentor, helping them hone their craft and explore their interest in creating art.
Since 2010, members of the group, known as Artists of the North Fork, have been showing selling their paintings at various locations.
This year, for the first time, a portion of their proceeds from those sales will be donated to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.
“There’s lots of projects there that we like to paint, like the water, farms and impacts of climate change,” member Dolores Castrucci said in explaining how the artists’ work ties into the efforts of their beneficiary.
This year’s art show, set for this weekend, also features a unique location: the barn at Dart’s Tree Farm in Southold. Ms. Castrucci said she had envisioned showing inside the barn when owner Ed Dart happened to mention that he wanted to find new uses for the space.
“It was like he was reading my mind,” she said.
Ann McCaughey, who joined Artists of the North Fork in 2010, said most of the members’ work is done “en plein air” and depicts landscape and marine scenes from across the North Fork. Some artists, like Ms. McCaughey herself, will also have portraits on display, she said.
“We enjoy painting barns and things that are disappearing,” Ms. Castrucci said. “We’re recording history in a way because many of these things don’t last. A lot of the culture that was here from the 1600s is changing.”
Artists of the North Fork also meets regularly as a critique group, with members offering each other constructive criticism. Both women said this has improved their artistic skill by giving them goals to work toward and new perspectives from which to view their own work.
Interested in art their entire lives — Ms. McCaughey is a photographer and Ms. Castrucci is a former silent partner in a New York City art gallery — both women began painting after retiring and moving to the North Fork full time.
Artists of the North Fork members also include Adelaide Amend, Rosemary Gabriel, Dalia Gorman, Mimi Meyers, Marla Milne, Fran Reichert and Jada Rowland — most of whom will show 10 to 15 pieces in this weekend’s exhibit. Work by local artists Tom Lulevitch and Glenn McNab will also be on display.
“You get a kick out of people admiring your art,” Ms. McCaughey said. “It’s very gratifying.”
The show will run Friday, May 26, through Monday, May 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A reception celebrating spring at Dart’s Tree Farm will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 27.
Photo: Artists Dolores Castrucci (left) and Ann McCaughey with some of their paintings. Both women, along with other members of Artists of the North Fork, will have work on display at Dart’s Tree Farm in Southold this weekend. (Credit: Nicole Smith)